I’m sure I did just this morning hear Mr. Obama talking about earmarks and I believe he was criticizing Governor Palin on this subject. Senator Obama said:
“I know the governor of Alaska has been saying she’s change, and that’s great,” Obama said. “She’s a skillful politician. But, you know, when you’ve been taking all these earmarks when it’s convenient, and then suddenly you’re the champion anti-earmark person, that’s not change. Come on! I mean, words mean something, you can’t just make stuff up.”
Now, I thought change was the mantra of the Obama campaign. Things seem to have changed, all right, and the change is that it looks like Sister Sarah has become the change candidate. 🙂
If Senator Obama wanted to call someone on the issue of earmarks, I thought it was odd that he would bring up Governor Palin rather than John McCain, a fellow Senator, and the one who is actually his opponent. Obama has a way of playing with your mind and if you’re not careful, he’ll lead you to a wrong conclusion. Of course, he didn’t mention the millions of dollars (just under $1 billion) in earmarks that HE as a United States Senator has passed out in the two years since he was elected.
After looking into this subject just a little bit, it is abundantly clear why Senator Obama can’t criticize McCain on the subject of earmarks, as you will see.
But just what are earmarks and what do they have to do with anything? Well, it seems…..
Earmarks are grants of your tax dollars without the normal public review, often given to pet projects by members of Congress in near secrecy. They add up to billions of dollars, and critics say they are ripe for fraud and abuse by some.
Senator John McCain, who has long criticized the spending practice, “was one of five senators to reject earmarks entirely.”
On the other hand…..
Q What earmarks did Senator Obama request for the Fiscal Years 2006 and 2007?
A. A lot. Click link below for a detailed list:
**Hmmm, he took the list off — but — here’s another link where you can see all the earmarks he requested. Be sure and scroll down a little bit to be sure and see them all:
Sarah Palin was not in the congress, of course. As Governor of Alaska, Palin reduced her state government’s requests from congress from 63 earmarks to 31. I don’t know if congress actually funded these projects or not.
Here’s what Palin said in a February interview (obviously before she was a candidate):
“My position has been in trying to read that writing on the wall, and understanding there’s going to be reform,” she said. “We can either put our heads in the sand and ignore the reforms that are coming or we can be proactive and get Alaska in the position of being more productive, contributing more and becoming less reliant on the federal government.”
And here’s how the McCain campaign sees it: Palin “doesn’t mind bucking the establishment to get things done,” said her campaign spokeswoman, Maria Comella. “As vice president, she is committed to working with John McCain to end this wasteful, earmark system that she has seen corrupt leaders in Alaska.”
So to recap:
- Senator John McCain requested zero earmarks.
- Senator Barack Obama requested a long list of earmarks.
- Sarah Palin requested for her state 31 earmarks from Congress as Governor of Alaska, and is trying to move her state towards less federal money and more self-reliance.